Reader's Letter: Letting the town down?

This is the unsightly empty retail unit next to Tesco Express - it has been left like this for months! It is a disgrace to the town.

Surely it can be tidied up and give a better look to what is a grotty block at the best of times. Where has the sense of pride in our town gone?

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Steve Cash
Wednesday 26th September 2018 at 2:52 pm
Months more like years since sports bar went but aren't Tesco going to use it sure planning application was in window just under ballits notice from sports bar
Simon Higginson
Wednesday 26th September 2018 at 3:00 pm
I think it should be a little sainsburys ,
Kiesha Humphreys
Wednesday 26th September 2018 at 3:20 pm
I thought it was going to be a gym but nothing seems to be happening with it.
John Clegg
Wednesday 26th September 2018 at 4:13 pm
How about a mini Aldi?
Howard Piltz
Wednesday 26th September 2018 at 4:18 pm
Interestingly, future illustrations look as if that whole block, around to the Chinese restaurant is going to be blitzed and replaced with something decent. Or is that just wishful thinking?
Alexandra Best
Wednesday 26th September 2018 at 5:07 pm
The Altrincham indoor food markets are phenominal!!!
This place would be ideal for 10 food stalls and a couple of drink stalls with benches in the middle and maybe even a live music stage!
Ideal after or before watching a film at the cinema!
Sarah Kennon
Wednesday 26th September 2018 at 5:12 pm
I absolutely agree. This site is a total eyesore and added to all the empty shops in Wilmslow I think the town Centre is looking very shabby. Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Prestbury are supposed to be the golden triangle of the northwest. Not now. I heard also it was going to be a gym. Also Tesco was taking it over. A mini Sainsburys or Aldi is a wonderful idea. If only. But definitely the council ought to pull their fingers out as regards this and the parking opposite Sainsburys and down Knutsford Road. Sarah
Martin Kitchin
Wednesday 26th September 2018 at 5:53 pm
Hi Sarah Kenyon

Hmm gym.... yes you are right.

If my memory serves me right the development of the site for a town centre gym was given as one of the reasons why it was perfectly reasonable to bulldoze the
Summerfields Village, Energie gym for big Lidl and remove all vestages of leisure and recreation from the residents.

Maybe it is still coming. We should be told, Cheshire East...
Yvonne Howson
Wednesday 26th September 2018 at 6:40 pm
The original planning for a 24 hour gym for Anytime Fitness was refused on the grounds of parking (what a joke). This has been an eyesore for years and it's time the Council sorted this. The market/food hall sounds great but I think we are too far from the Town Hall to care.
David Smith
Wednesday 26th September 2018 at 7:38 pm
None of these suggestions above think big! The whole area is a prime town centre location and an opportunity for development. The area all the way round from the mini Tesco to the traffic lights near the station and left past the Brewhouse & Kitchen then the Anthology pub, past the church and back to the mini Tesco needs to be developed. St Teresa’s Church can stay but the rest can go. Sadly the St Ann's parade complex has recently been tarted up so there might be some reluctance there. The whole site should have a massive underground car park, a mall style arcade with cinema, gym, major retailer like M&S plus a selection of lovely apartments to bring living back to the centre of the town. Some of my suggestions you will probably think are a bit out of date which only proves that this sort of development should have occurred 30 years ago when there was no M&S at Handforth Dean, no gyms nearby and the old police station was still there and needed knocking down. So the whole concept would have been a bit ahead of time. I'm not sure who owns the land but it wouldn't surprise me if it were Mr Jones who no doubt has the money but needs the inspiration and verve to make such a thing happen.
Simon Worthington
Thursday 27th September 2018 at 11:28 am
Bit ambitious David and why should a little used church, associated dwelling (no council tax payable?) and private car park remain. Also a bit difficult to tell the owners of the (another dodgy bit of planning and destruction) of the flats on the old police station site. The difficulty with building any underground car park is that Wilmslow is built on a bog.
The eyesore in question closed before the world cup in 2014 and has been left to rot. I believe that it and Tesco belong to one owner and the rest of the strip belongs to another and they don't see eye to eye. The gym b****** and the parking nonsense that accompanied it was possibly a succesful (Lidl involvement anyone) smokescreen. Until the landlords get realistic and the council insists on property being maintained (see leaking drainpipe by Timpsons - years and years) London (usually) based owners can give two fingers to the rest of us peasants and leave property empty. The old co-op bank is another eyesore. It may even be part of your pension fund earning nothing!!!!
Cynthia Russell
Thursday 27th September 2018 at 7:03 pm
Mr Worthington I take exception to your comment regarding St. Teresa's Church. The church is certainly not "little used" and has a thriving congregation. The hall is used for coffee mornings most days of the week and for many other meetings and events throughout the year and as for the car park one could say it isn't big enough as it is sometimes difficult to find a space. Please get your facts right.
Kiesha Humphreys
Thursday 27th September 2018 at 8:47 pm
I agree with Alexandra. When I heard it was going to be a gym I thought it was a shame as a Altrincham style market venue would have gone down a treat there. It’s such a big space to fill that splitting it up with lots of independent retailers makes perfect sense. It’s never really worked as a stand-alone venue so why not use it to support a selection of smaller businesses?
Ann Begley
Friday 28th September 2018 at 12:19 pm
Another town eyesore waiting to be occupied (see photo above) .... surely some colourful posters or artwork could be displayed .... maybe local schools/Wilmslow Guild could provide some? Anything that improves the external appearance would be welcomed ..... don’t owners, town council or Cheshire East care?
Rick Andrews
Sunday 30th September 2018 at 5:17 pm
The problem has 2 key players: Cheshire East Council which has little regard for the wishes of residents and the property owners who are driven by rent revenue. I have to say that some of the comments here must be considered as misinformed and fanciful - cinemas and shopping malls? Yes, at least 30 years too late, in fact around the time that MBC turned down the M&S proposal for what is now the TSB bank. What is needed is an innovative plan for the Tesco site and Adjoining terrace of shops and take aways. I am afraid that the time has passed for investors to consider retail premises, so get ready for more bars and coffee shops. That is the future for suburban town centres unless we all stop going to the Trafford Centre, John Lewis and buying most of our needs through Amazon. The Wilmslow we knew and loved 20 years ago has gone. Thank you to our local developers who see office space as the Golden Egg. Lets stop the inconsiderate parking and make the office companies and staff pay. These offices add nothing to the life of our town. Oh yes they might buy the odd coffee or sandwich but we live here. Any comments councillors?? And the winners are the developers. Maybe based in Alderley Edge? Lets have more offices there.
Richard Armstead
Wednesday 3rd October 2018 at 7:30 pm
Hi to all above.

All hitting the same points, wishing for a Wilmslow town centre that is attractive for visitors, pedestrians, car users and families. These comments refer to the Parsonage Green/Green Lane area which is a suitable case for treatment. Recently much was made of car parking in Wilmslow with CEC now promising a survey and others advocating yellow double lines. The truth of the matter is that development planning for the town, particularly the centre, has been sadly neglected over quite a few years ( I have lived here since 1978). There is no coordinated development plan for Wilmslow up to 2030 in the CE Local Plan and the solution to issues will remain piecemeal as long as this is the case. Wilmslow Town Council are constantly frustrated by CEC Development managers and the CE Cabinet who have little or no regard for the hopes and aspirations of Wilmslow residents. What is needed is a 'Wilmslow Town Centre Development Plan' and this will only come about when we have a decision making system which has the interests of local residents at its heart. Time to bin the Cabinet system and replace it with a broader more representative committee system that allows local preferences to surface and be considered seriously. A lot of hard work has gone into the recent Neighbourhood Plan but sadly I believe this will not make any difference, as it demands nothing and allows CE to take it or leave it - which it will - as it suits their agenda. A proper system of democratic representation is now needed to replace the current 'old boys club'.
Jon Williams
Thursday 4th October 2018 at 9:42 am
Wilmslow is no different to a lot of towns, nothing special, even quite drab, some weekday evenings it like a ghost town
David Rowntree
Thursday 4th October 2018 at 5:09 pm
This is definitely the symptom of no coordinated plan for the town. The whole building (including Tesco’s) needs to be demolished.

CEC can simply:
- notify Tesco’s they will not renew the rent (assuming they are the landlord);
- encourage teaco’s to reclocate to another empty unit in the town;
- demolish the property & sell the land. You could put a small car park on this site. A small gesture but would have quite a positive impact.

Depending on the demolition cost, the car parking fees would probably pay back in a year.
Tony Hughes
Friday 5th October 2018 at 6:23 am
As I understand it, CE don’t own the building. Tesco own their building and this bit is owned by a different landlord.
I don’t think they have the power to do anything whilst the rates are being paid on the units.
Paul O'Neill
Tuesday 6th November 2018 at 3:40 pm
The builders were in the old sports bar today so hopefully something is being done about this eyesore.
Oliver Romain
Tuesday 6th November 2018 at 8:39 pm
Steve Cash is right. This is probably Tesco’s they had notices in the windows months ago.

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